Originally posted on Rams Herd  |  Last updated 12/7/12
By all reckoning, the Rams were fortunate to come away with a win against the 49ers. If not for eight points put on the board by an opportunistic defense - with help from the referees, the NFL's arcane challenge rules, and a bizarre and poorly executed option play - the Rams lose. And if that had happened, one play would have stood out above all others as the crux of the loss: Here, with a brief rant on the play, is new writer Chad Yuhnke (@squick3n on Twitter).  Please forgive but it's been awhile since I did one of these little rant things.  So this is the Rams lone TD opportunity.  4th down and inches after another Saffold false start in the red zone To start, bad personnel group.  Jackson is the lone back that can pass protect.  For some reason they took him out of the game once they got inside the 10.  With Pead in the game, if he's in the backfield, it means run.  Which leads to the bad play call.  Schotty decides to pass, so Pead must be sent out of the backfield.  If he stays in, it's just another pass rusher, only he will not be blocked.  They ran this exact play earlier in the year on a failed goal line play.  If I remember it then I'm sure the SF coaches and players knew of it too.  And as you can see, they all react to Pead.  You could argue that had Bradford immediately targeted Gibson, there could have been a score.  But watch the play.  A stacked group, they switch on release, then Gibson turns toward Pettis cutting him off a bit.  You could say Gibson is open, but watch Navarro Bowman (53).  He's jogging under the route playing possum and he brings his hands up as Bradford throws, thinking he's got a pick 6 coming.  So the read is to Pettis, but he has no separation of course.   It actually still ends up almost being a score.  You see Pead raise his arms because the pass hits Pettis in his hands, only Tarell Brown rakes it out.  Some were saying lol Bradford run it in, but it's not there.  If he steps up Bowman and Brooks are right there.  I really have no problem here.  Three step drop, goes through his full progression, and puts the ball where the WR can make a play.  It's the league's worst WR corps w/o Amendola playing.  Whatever you think of Sam, the next guy in will still not succeed with these guys.  The only Rams WR that I have seen win a contested pass was Danario Alexander, and he could never stay healthy.  Probably the Rams' biggest curse is that only the good players get hurt.  The bad ones never get hurt and continue to inflict their awfulness. This play generated a lot of discussion, so here are a few more notes:  The Rams originally had Jackson in the backfield, and a wholly different formation, as they lined up to run. I actually preferred this jumbo formation, as I think the Rams can be very deceptive out of it with TE releases, and force the defense to think a bit more. But having already showed it, I can understand why they backed out.  I looked through the play archives for failed goal-line plays, and came up with two examples where the Rams ran very similar route combinations. Both times, Bradford targeted the WR running along the goal line - Danny Amendola, in both cases.    The play appears to be designed to work against a zone defense, flooding an area with more receivers than a defense should be able to account for. With two targets in front, widely spaced (Gibson in the flat, Pead at the sideline) and one deep (Pettis), Bradford should have his pick of targets against a zone look. But the Niners adeptly recognized the play and rotated all of their coverage to that side, leaving one lone defender to the weak side to spy on Bradford. It was an incredibly well-defended play.    Bradford does a good job avoiding a bad outcome here, and even placing the ball in a spot where his WR can make a play, even though he didn't come away with points. But with the benefit of hindsight, he had two possible alternatives that could have gained the necessary yard: a quick one-step drop and pass to Pead, whose cover man is well behind the line of scrimmage, or hold the ball and bootleg against the grain with Mulligan in front to help block.  Again, the Rams were fortunate to be able to win the game, after coming up empty here. But football is a game of shifting momentum and strange bounces. By aggressively going for it here, Jeff Fisher set the momentum. And fortunately, he got the bounces afterward to set the Rams up for the win. 
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Who should perform at Super Bowl 51?
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Carlos Ruiz traded to Dodgers

Ezekiel Elliott reportedly arrived at training camp overweight

Olympian auctions off medal to help young cancer patient

Report: Dodgers have turned down lowball offers for Puig

Jason Pierre-Paul’s lawsuit against Adam Schefter, ESPN will proceed

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

The Rock, Vin Diesel to settle 'rivalry' at WrestleMania 33?

Report: Browns trade former No. 6 overall pick Mingo to Pats

Harden organizing players-only minicamp with Rockets

Raiders file trademark applications for ‘Las Vegas Raiders’

U.S. Soccer hands Solo six month suspension for Olympic comments

Report: Josh Gordon will be restricted free agent after 2016

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

The 20 best boxing movies ever

Will Perriman help Ravens find elusive WR success?

Jay Bouwmeester’s selection to Team Canada’s World Cup roster is a head-scratcher

Five MLB players with a lot to lose down the stretch

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies

Bruce Arians on sideline video use: 'It helps bad coaches'

Hard not to be cynical about LeBron's 'Cleveland Hustles'

Familiar faces that won't be seen in the NFL this year

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

The 20 best boxing movies ever

Can Perriman's return help Ravens find oft-elusive WR success?

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies

Hard not to be cynical about LeBron James' 'Cleveland Hustles'

Ranking the uniforms of the NFL from worst to best

Familiar faces that won't be seen in the NFL this year

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker